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Adventures of Superman: Superman on Earth

From the doomed planet Krypton, an infant is rocketed to Earth by his parents. He grows up as Clark Kent, gets a job as a newspaper reporter at the Metropolis Daily Planet and uses his extraordinary powers to fight crime as Superman.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x1
Airdate: Friday September 19th, 1952

Director: Thomas Carr
Screenplay: Robert Maxwell (1)

Guest Stars
Aline TowneAline Towne
As Lara
Ross ElliottRoss Elliott
As Jor-El (scenes deleted)
Frances MorrisFrances Morris
As Sarah Kent
Danny Sue NolanDanny Sue Nolan
As Miss Bachrach (as Dani Nolan)

Dabbs GreerDabbs Greer
As Rescued Man
Sam FlintSam Flint
As Physician
Jeff SilverJeff Silver
As Teenage Clark
Stuart HolmesStuart Holmes
As Krypton Council Member
Tom FaddenTom Fadden
As Eben Kent
Main Cast
George ReevesGeorge Reeves
As Superman/Clark Kent
Phyllis CoatesPhyllis Coates
As Lois Lane
Jack Larson (1)Jack Larson (1)
As Jimmy Olsen
John Hamilton (1)John Hamilton (1)
As Perry White


On the distant planet of Krypton, where the inhabitants have brought themselves to the peak of physical development, the governing council summons scientist Jor-El to the Temple of Wisdom to address a special meeting. The supreme leader, Rozan, relates how Krypton has been plagued by earthquakes and tidal waves. Jor-El explains how his solar calculations show that Krypton is about to be destroyed. The sun is drawing the planet closer to it, and the gravitational forces will destroy Krypton in a matter of days. The councilmen don't believe it and accuses Jor-El of insanity. The scientist says that he's been working on a model spaceship that, when replicated, can transport them to safety...

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Episode Notes
Main characters Clark Kent (George Reeves), Lois Lane (Phyllis Coates), Jimmy Olsen (Jack Larson), and Perry White (John Hamilton) all make their first appearances in this episode. Main character Inspector Henderson (Robert Shayne) would make his first appearance in episode 3, "The Case of the Talkative Dummy".

Some of the costumes in the Krypton scenes were hand-me-downs from the comic book/strip movie serials of the 40s. The costume that Superman's father wore was Buster Crabbe's outfit from Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940). Other Kryptonians wore parts of costumes from Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941) and Captain America (1944).

In this episode, Clark's parents are named Eben and Sarah Kent -- the names used in the novel The Adventures of Superman (1942) and in the first Superman movie serial. The comic book Superboy established for all time Jonathan and Martha Kent as the names of Clark's Earthling parents.

Episode Quotes
Announcer: Yes, it's Superman, strange visitor from another planet, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men! Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel with his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way!

Announcer: Come with us now on a far journey, a journey that takes us millions of miles from the earth, where many years ago, the planet Krypton burned like a green star in the endless heavens.

Jor-El: I warn you, the time will comeā€”and that time is perhaps very near at hand when you will wish you'd heeded the words of Jor-El. When Krypton is shattered into a hundred million stars. When the glorious civilization is no more. When you and your families are swept from the face of this planet like dust.

Lara: Here he is, Jor-El.
Jor-El: You have him well-wrapped?
Lara: Yes. Oh, he's so good. Not even a whimper.
Jor-El: The model might carry both of you, Lara.
Lara: No, I'm not going.
Jor-El: You must.
Lara: My place is here with you.
Jor-El: Lara, please, there isn't time. The take-off pressure is building up and in a few seconds now...
Lara: I'd be lost in a new world without you, Jor-El. If anyone is to survive, let it be our son.

Sarah Kent: But the baby, Eben. we can't be dreaming. The baby's real.
Eben Kent: Real as rain, and just as pretty.

Teenage Clark: We were playing baseball and the ball got lost. Nobody could find it. But all I had to do was look around and there it was behind a rock.
Sarah Kent: You've got good eyes, that's all.
Teenage Clark: No, Mom, it's more than just good eyes. I didn't see the ball behind the rock, I saw the it right through the rock. Like my eyes were an x-ray machine. Like the rock wasn't even there.

Teenage Clark: But Mom, why am I different? Why can I do things that nobody else can do? Why can I run faster, jump higher? Why am I stronger than anybody?

Announcer: And so the years went by, spring melting into summer and summer into fall and fall into winter. The boy Clark grew into tall young manhood while Eben and Sarah Kent grew older and grayer.

Episode Goofs
Sarah talks to Clark about his x-ray vision when he's 12, per the on-screen narration. A date montage soon occurs, showing the years 1926 to 1951.

Afterward, Sarah says that it's 25 years since they found Clark. However, it would actually be 37 years since he was 12 in 1926. Presumably 25 is the correct number of years.

Episode References
The only reference to the name of Clark's hometown is seen on the bus station sign.

Other Episode Crew

ProducerBernard Luber  |  Robert Maxwell (1)
Associate ProducerBarney A. Sarecky
Make-upHarry Thomas (3)
Property MasterGeorge Bahr
Art DirectorRalph Berger
Sound EditorBarton Hayes
Special EffectsDanny Hayes
Film EditorAl Joseph
WardrobeIzzy Berne
Assistant DirectorNathan Barragar
Sound EngineerHarry Smith (6)
Casting DirectorHarold Chiles
CameramanWilliam P. Whitley
Dialogue DirectorStephen Carr
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